Yeti’s Parole Officer Impressions and Review – Spoiler Free

Basic Premise: In Yeti’s Parole Officer, you attempt to keep various folktale creatures (who are actually alien convicts) from exposing themselves to humanity and from escaping Earth.

Positives

  • Folklore + aliens + investigation = interesting.
  • The button that progresses the game adds to the story. Comments such as “Oh, joy” and “Oops” replace the usual “Next” text at appropriate times.
  • The descriptions of stat check failures or trying to dodge romantic entanglement made me laugh.

Negatives

  • You’d best accept that your character has some kind of attraction to their partner. The one play-through I tried to create a truly antagonistic dynamic kept being undermined.
  • Even though you are conducting an investigation, you never need to recall details or use clues to figure something out.
  • A few coding lines appear and interrupt the story flow.

Everything Else

  • The setting has so much potential that the actual game feels slight. What’s there is good, but little time is spent building up relationships with the aliens or exploring the world. I hope KT Bryski, the author, revisits the concept in the future and expands on it.

Bottom Line: Short but fun.

Choice of Games’ Yeti’s Parole Officer is available on iOS, Android, Kindle, and Google Chrome.

 

Impressions and review based on a provided code.

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Scarlet Fate Gentoka Route Review and Impressions – Spoilers

It took me two weeks to replay this route. It’s been rough.

The odd thing is Gentoka’s route is more interesting than Akifusa‘s, but that made it harder to get through. I kept almost getting pulled into the story or almost having the relationship work – and then having bad pacing or a repeated metaphor kill it. Then I’d work out how to fix the problem, then make myself stop because down that road lies fanfic, and I just don’t have time for that.

I can’t discuss positives and negatives properly without spoilers so

SPOILERS AHEAD IN

3

2

1

NOW

Positives

  • The MC is focused, competent, and gets to rescue the guy.
  • Akifusa gets to be a cool character. In all the other routes he’s an object of pity or ridicule. Here he’s on equal footing with everyone else.
  • Gentoka is the only one who consistently refers to the MC by her given name, not her title. It accents his disinterest in divine and human politics and is a welcome break after the other guys’ routes.
  • It has some of the weightiest story moments of the routes. Two of the main cast intentionally kill each other. Gentoka goes mad and kills soldiers on his side, and the MC kills men who were forced to track her. And none of it is hand-waved or magically undone by the end. The characters must acknowledge what they have done and decide how to proceed.

Negatives

  • No secondary female characters appear.
  • The relationship pacing and progression are odd – like the author had the individual scenes written on index cards, tripped, scrambled to pick up the scattered notes, and never bothered to put them back in order before writing the story. It’s a pity, too, because some of the scenes felt believable and mature enough to really make me care about these two.
  • Unnecessary threatened rape featured.
  • Near the end of the story the MC remembers that she didn’t actually commit the act that had caused her so much guilt for years. Why? What purpose does this serve? She’s still killed others since then. What, does the author want us to think they didn’t count for some reason? It doesn’t flow with the whole “yeah, we both have done some pretty crummy things to survive but we’ve got to keep going” message that’s emphasized throughout the story. To make it doubly weird, she receives no such reprieve in the other routes.
  • Gentoka’s treatment of his one friend really bothers me. “Hello, my bosom comrade! We have just lost a bitter war, and our allies have turned against us. I have snatched you from the brink of death and will FORCE immortality upon you. And now I’m leaving. Have fun completely alone as you’re eaten up by PTSD. Forever.” All the other horrible things Gentoka had done before I could see as self-defense, but this was just cruel. And neither of the leads react appropriately. Ugh.

Everything Else

  • The translation is competent, and the story flows. The point of view shifts are not always well-signaled though.
  • The word “sin” is used all the time and for situations that don’t quite fit. Once I started replacing the word “sin” with “guilt,” the story and themes made much more sense.

Bottom Line: I recommend Kodonomae‘s or Kuso‘s routes over this one, but this is the best of the three routes that send the MC to the capital.

Idea Factory’s Shall We Date?: Scarlet Fate courtesy of NTT Solmare is available on iOS and Android.

Scarlet Fate Kadonomae Route Impressions and Review – Spoiler Free

This review brought to you by Benadryl. Please excuse any goofy sentence structure and misspelled words.

Comments that apply to all the routes in Shall We Date?: Scarlet Fate

  • An active, competent main character tries to save her village and friends from supernatural disaster.
  • The plot, not cutesy romance fluff, dominates the story. Politics, divine beings, and war feature in all the routes.
  • The translation is competent, and the story flows. The point of view shifts are not always well-signaled though.
  • The word “sin” is used all the time and for situations that don’t quite fit. Once I started replacing the word “sin” with “guilt,” the story and themes made much more sense.

Comments for Kodonomae’s route in particular

Positives

  • The MC holds her own as a warrior and makes her own decisions about what path to take.
  • This route fills in some back-story gaps from the other routes and (unlike Akifusa’s and Gentoka’s routes) explores the divine politics and introduces a secondary female character who has some depth.
  • Kodonomae is kind yet very focused on his goals. It would have been easy to go overboard in either direction, but the writer balances the two traits well.

Negatives

  • It feels like less thought was put into the epilogue than the rest of the route. The relationship which built so nicely has several “wait a minute” moments in the last chapter rather than a natural progression. It’s certainly not enough to ruin the story, but it is jarring.
  • The route uses the phrase “like lemmings off a cliff.” Lemmings do not jump off cliffs.

Everything Else

  • Without spoiling the story…Kodonomae bears much more responsibility and guilt for causing other people’s suffering than Gentoka yet he moves on more easily than Gentoka. I wish the differences had been pulled out and examined in one of the routes.
  • Of the four routes I’ve played, this one felt the most “AND NOW I WILL RESCUE YOU, SIT BACK, DELICATE FLOWER.” The MC has enough agency and Kodonomae respects her enough for me to accept it, but a few moments were eye-roll-inducing. YMMV.

Favorite Moments

  • Kodonomae: “For us, a battle is the act of drinking the life of our opponents.”
  • Me: Go on, you charmer.
  • *MC goes on about how she will let no one stand in her way of doing what she deems necessary*
  • Kodonomae: “How valiant. I’m almost swooning.”
  • MC: They look puzzled, except for Gentoka, whose expression is never readable.
  • Me: Ha!

Bottom Line: Recommended.

Idea Factory’s Shall We Date?: Scarlet Fate courtesy of NTT Solmare is available on iOS and Android.

Serendipity Next Door Byron / Keiichi Main Route Impressions and Review – Spoiler Free

Basic Premise: Two neighbors get to know one another while dealing with every-day life.

Positives

  • The main character may be naive, but she’s brave enough to admit her feelings and move on if they are not returned.
  • The secondary women characters are more sympathetic than the other routes I have tried. I like Mitsuko here.
  • Keiichi has some funny moments.
  • The translation is excellent.

Negatives

  • Keiichi manages to hit many of my pet peeves. He continuously makes disparaging comments about the main character’s physical appearance, attitude, personality, and fashion sense without building a relationship first. He goes through her things without her permission and invades her personal space. I don’t know what the author was going for, but this is not the way to make me think “oh, this person’s such a good friend!” This is not friendship. This is bullying. He barges into the MC’s life without a real connection to her, pulls back when she says she cares for him and tells her she’s wrong…then continues to jerk her back into his orbit. He’s selfish, he’s fake, and I wanted to smack him with a rolled-up newspaper every time. And I like him in the other routes, dangit.
  • The MC spends a good portion of the route getting a makeover and learning to be feminine and sexy. If it was something she had decided on her own she wanted, this wouldn’t bother me. The fact that she’s pressured into it so she can win some guy’s approval grinds my gears.

Overall: A disappointment; I’m glad I bought it on discount.

Voltage’s Serendipity Next Door is available on iOS and Android.